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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

Santambrogio given 3-year ban

Mauro Santambrogio was given a three-year ban ending on October 21, 2017. This was imposed by the Italian Cycling Federation for his second positive for testosterone. He first tested positive at the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

Last October he announced a return to competition with the Amore & Vita team after his two-year ban had been reduced to eighteen months for cooperating the the UCI.

But, he was positive in an out-of-competition UCI test on October 22, 2014. Santambrogio explained the positive by saying it occured during treatment at a fertility clinic.

Santambrogio has decided to abandon competitive cycling and devote himself to a cycling tourism business.

Santambrgogio has ridden for some top teams, including LPR, Lampre and BMC. He won stage fourteen of the 2013 Giro d'Italia and was then popped for testosterone.

Mauro Santambrogio

Mauro Santambrogio wins 2013 Giro stage 14 ahead of Vincenzo Nibali

Jesse Sergent signs for two seasons with Ag2r

This came from Ag2r:

Jesse Sergent (currently Trek Factory Racing), 28, carry the colors of AG2R-La Mondiale in 2016 and 2017. With the signatures of Cyril Gautier (Team Europcar) until 2018 and François Bidard (Chambéry Cyclisme Formation) until 2017, recruitment is now complete

Jesse Sergent: "I am very excited to join the team AG2R-La Mondiale for the next two seasons. I want to thank Vincent Lavenu, who gave me this opportunity. AG2R-La Mondiale is known for its attacking style, with racers who never give up and I'm really looking forward to be part of this team.

"I hope to continue my progression and target time trials and week-long stage races. I also want to help the team leaders succeed and gain great results. I am ready to meet this new challenge."

Jesse Sergent

Jesse Sergent at the 2014 World's

Vincent Lavenu: "I had noticed for several seasons the Jesse Sergent's racing qualities. We are pleased to welcome him. His rouleur abilities, his strength in the classics will significantly strengthen us in this sector."

Bardiani-CSF for 2016

Here's the roster for the next season:

After the end of 2015 cycling season concluded with the victory of Sonny Colbrelli in the 19th GP Beghelli, Bardiani - CSF announces the roster for the next year composed by 17 italian riders with an average age of 23.5 years.

Simone Andreetta, Enrico Barbin, Nicola Boem, Manuel Bongiorno, Giulio Ciccone (new), Sonny Colbrelli, Luca Chirico, Mirco Maestri  (new), Stefano Pirazzi, Lorenzo Rota (new), Nicola Ruffoni, Paolo Simion, Luca Sterbini, Simone Sterbini, Alessandro Tonelli, Simone Velasco (new), Edoardo Zardini.

Sonny Colbrelli wins 2015 GP Beghelli

Sonny Colbrelli wins 2015 GP Beghelli

To report the positive expecations around the new four adds with Giulio Ciccione (Under 23, born in 1994) who won the 2015 Prestigio Ranking, always the best benchmark to select the best Italian Under 23 rider. In this classification Simone Velasco (Under 23, born in 1995) took the 3rd place, while Lorenzo Rota (Under 23, born in 1995), ended 5th.

While Mirco Maestri (Amateur, born in 1991), not being able to partecipate due to age restrictions, conquered two victories, five podiums and a long numbers of top-10 during this season.

The new Bardiani – CSF under the lead of Bruno Reverberi, Roberto Reverberi and the new Sport Director Stefano Zanatta, will meet in December in Fiuggi where will take place the first training camp for the 2016 season.

Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies excerpt posted

Les Woodland has done it again. He's written a compelling, fascinating, yet fun book about bicycle racing. If you'd like a taste of Woodland's mastery of the writer's art, here's the first chapter of Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies: The Rise and Fall of Bicycle Racing's Champions. It's the story of Charly Gaul's incredible day on Monte Bondone in the 1956 Giro d'Italia.

Charly Gaul

Here's Charly Gaul and his Faema team at the end of the 1956 Giro.

Lotto-Soudal manager looks back on U23 team's 2015 season

Two weeks ago, the cycling season of the U23 riders came to an end. The Lotto Soudal U23 team can look back on a successful year. For the fourth time in a row, they won the Top Competition and with five riders who turn pro next year. Kurt Van De Wouwer, responsible of the sports department, can be a happy man.

Kurt Van De Wouwer: “The boys rode a fantastic season. We won 26 times, what doesn’t come close to our record of 56, but when you look at the quality it was good. With a double Belgian title in time trialling, both in the U23 category (Ruben Pols) and in the Elite without a contract category (Frederik Frison), we can say that we dominated this discipline. The overall win at the Belgian Top Competition shows that we rode on a high level during the entire season.”

“This year, we gathered some beautiful results in stage races. Our strong man in these races was Laurens De Plus, he had an absolute top year. Personally, his victory in the Giro Vallée d’Aosta is qualitatively the most beautiful victory of the year. At Aosta, the competition is very strong and winning a stage in this tour isn’t easy. As a Belgian team, winning a stage and finishing second in the general classification is outstanding. Also in the Ronde de l’Isard, Laurens finished second. We got a lot of second places, this is a pity but showed that we battled for victory in all the stage races we rode. We give our riders many chances to race on international level and when they succeed to win stages, this is a big satisfaction.”

Next to Laurens De Plus (Etixx – Quickstep), also Dries Van Gestel, Kenneth Van Rooy and Ruben Pols (all Topsport Vlaanderen Baloise) and Hayden McCormick (One Pro Cycling) turn pro next year. These boys achieved some big results both on national and international level. De Plus won a stage and finished on the second place on GC at Giro Vallée d’Aosta, he was fourth at Peace Race, second at Ronde de l’Isard, he won Gent-Staden, was second at Tour de Moselle, sixth at Tour Alsace and eighth at the Tour de l’Avenir. Van Gestel won a stage at the Carpathian Couriers Race, was third on GC at Tour de Moselle, second at Gooikse Pijl and fourth at Paris-Tours U23.

“Kenneth Van Rooy achieved a nice victory at the Tour of Liège, what’s a benchmark for Belgian teams. He became fourth at the European Championships and at Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23. He also gathered a series of top ten places. Also Ruben Pols rode a strong season and crowned this with a Belgian time trial title. McCormick became tenth at the New-Zealand nationals and Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23. These guys are strong riders and deserve to take the step to the pro category. Seeing riders turn pro is a proof that our way of working pays off.”

“With eleven first-year and seven second-year U23’s, we have a very young team next season. Our first-years are very talented. With Bjorn Lambrechts, we have the Belgian junior national champion in our team. Aaron Verwilst and Stan Dewulf shined at the European Championships for juniors and all the other riders have shown their qualities on all sorts of terrains. It’s hard to tell how they will process this transition. The guys born in 1995 for example, had it more difficult to adapt than the guys of 1996. We’ll see how they develop themselves during the season. We have to give them time to grow and I’m convinced that they will do well. We need to keep the team together for the next two years. The lack of experience will show during the UCI races, but at these races the older riders need to be the leaders.”

“The riders who become second-year U23, showed this season that they adapted well to the U23 category. Enzo Wouters, Milan Menten, Emiel Planckaert, Steff Cras, Senne Leysen and James Shaw all set some promising results. Wouters and Menten have a strong sprint and this already resulted in some victories. These boys can still do better next year. Cras and Planckaert are good climbers and Leysen is a strong time trialist.”

“Our last-year U23 riders are boys who have the potential to turn pro next year. Kevin Deltombe rode very strong at the end of the season and is supposed to continue that way next year. Also newcomer Edward Planckaert is a good rider and can be valuable next year. In 2016, we pull the card of the young riders. We have to wait and see how they adapt to the U23 category. Next season, together with the older riders, they form a strong team that can set some beautiful results.”

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